The World Cup has arrived in Qatar! But not everyone is excited about it. Droves of people from all around the world have flocked to Qatar to watch the World Cup. 

Over a billion people are set to tune in to watch from home with a whopping $220 billion spent. Qatar has set a new historical record for the highest budget ever allocated to a FIFA World Cup. It's an event that Qatar is definitely not taking lightly and an opportunity the nation is banking on to showcase its wealth, prestige, infrastructure, and culture on the world stage. 

Being the first Arab and Muslim nation to host the Cup, Qatar has also risen to the occasion to present its religion to the world, Islam. With Quran recitations prominently featuring in the opening ceremony, public billboards highlighting sayings of the Prophet ﷺ and even inviting some of the most famous Dawah figures to attend. 

Why is the Qatar FIFA World Cup so controversial?

These are exciting times for Qatar, and so all must be going well for this tiny nation? Well, not really. You see, if all eyes are on Qatar, then, therefore, its flaws are also exposed for the world to see. And Oh boy, how the world is so excited to talk about them. 

Over the past couple of weeks, people from the Western world have been calling out Qatar relentlessly, everything from its stance on LGBT, its mistreatment of migrant workers, and more recently, its ban on alcohol from stadiums. The BBC also had a bone to pick with Qatar, too, as it made its stance very clear by boycotting the broadcast of the opening ceremony for the first time ever. 

Now, Qatar is not flawless, and just like any other country, it has its own problems, whatever they may be. But if we were to hold a magnifying glass over much of the attacks and criticisms, it's not too hard to see that they are fueled by Islamophobia, and racism, and tainted with so much hypocrisy.

 And it's about time we start calling this out. First, the alcohol ban. Now, look, from a non-Muslim perspective, perhaps I can probably see where the anger stems from. In football culture, alcohol is kind of like the popcorn of cinema. But when we look closer, we see this criticism is completely disproportionate. 

I mean, why is it that stadiums in France can enjoy alcohol-free venues and no one kicks up a fuss. If for 3 hours a day you cannot drink a beer. You will survive. Especially because actually, the same rules apply in France or in Spain or Portugal, or Scotland where no beer is allowed in stadiums. 

Now here seems to become a big thing because it's a Muslim country or I don't know why. Maybe that is why because they are Muslim. Second, the conversation surrounding the rights of migrant workers. Yes, every worker, migrant or not, is entitled to basic human rights. This should be the case in all nations around the world. 

Our religion, in fact, teaches us to uphold the rights of the workers. So no one is defending any oppression, abuse, or carelessness when it comes to the treatment of any migrant worker. It needs to be called out and things need to be done to ensure workers are protected. Yet with that being said, the hypocrisy is as glaring as the sun that shines above us, most specifically in Europe. 

You see, there is something that the West is oddly quiet about. Believe it or not, European countries have their fair share of problems with migrants too. 

Does anyone, remember colonization. You know, when Europe ransacked the world that we conveniently forgot? Or is that really collective amnesia? So that wasn't the mistreatment of migrant workers? Or does that not apply to Europe? By no means does this undermine the gravity of the issue at hand. 

I think we should all raise awareness, but let's not behave like we have the moral high ground here. And lastly, the LGBT issue and Qatar’s stance on public displays of affection. Look, this is a hot topic and not many people are seeing the bigger picture here. 

Let me explain. So when Europe, quote-unquote, welcomes migrants into its borders, they are specifically told to adhere to the laws set by the governments. They are told to respect, nay, obey the laws, worldviews, moral values, and social norms, even if it means going against their own values. 

We Muslims have been called to the principal's office many times about this issue. Yet why is it that when European nations travel to Muslim nations, this privilege of respecting the host nation's values no longer applies? Instead, we have Europeans wagging their finger at Muslim countries like Qatar for not changing their own sovereign laws to conform to their own worldview. 

What the hell is going on? You see, Europe or secular liberal Europe has called the case “superiority complex fever”. Some will believe that the world view liberalism is the bee's knees when it comes to worldviews. Nothing tops it. It holds the throne of the best worldview ever. Imposing liberalism on other nations in the eyes of some is a good thing and must be brought to all corners of the earth. 

Yet the worldview is a contradiction in and of itself. If liberalism truly did represent the ability to express oneself as one wished and accept everyone for who they are, why can we not accept Qataris for who they are? Tolerate their values as they are? 

Isn't liberalism about tolerating and accepting other people, or is it only apply to liberal Europeans afforded to anyone and everyone? So as long as you agree with us. The responses we have seen are not only Islamophobic but extremely hypocritical and even racist. The criticism thrown at Qatar, although some are sound, is overdramatic, exaggerated, and blown way out of proportion. 

Where were media boycotts in the 2014 Rio World Cup, when the government was trying to hide poverty-stricken communities from the rest of the world? Where was the boycott on the 2018 World Cup in Russia for their laws on homosexuality? 

It wasn't enough that Europe and the West colonized Muslim lands stole its resources oppressed its people installed governments and corrupt leaders to suit their agenda, allowing the constant free fall of Muslims and other native people around the world to find themselves day in and day out. No, it's not enough. They must colonize the Muslim mind as well in their own Muslim lands.